I finished the Karate Monkey late last week with much help from my LBS owner (Joe, at Columbus Cycling and Fitness, Columbus Indiana). Joe is a great guy and he stayed after hours to help with the things I don't have tools for, or just don't know to do. I don't think you'll find a more supportive LBS owner anywhere. He does 24 hour turn around on repairs, but for minor stuff, I've never had to wait more than 10 minutes or so.
The project has been a great success and I couldn't be happier, I can see this turning into my favorite bike. The position is very comfortable and the ride is smooth and comfortable. They say "steel is real" (4130) and I'm starting to agree. The handling is quick enough but it certainly seems to me to be more of a "touring" feel. My point of reference is my Giant OCR, on which I spend a great deal of time.
The specifics are as follows:
Trekking bars from Nashbar (very inexpensive right now). The bars are great, but I really wish they were an inch or two wider.
Campus pedals (Shimano).
Cane Creek headset (I don't remember which one).
Nashbar Isis drive crankset (also very cheap right now). I got mostly because it was all black. Its comes with 53/39 rings and I'm using the 39. I had to use a set of "bmx" chain ring bolts to use only one ring. This was one of Joe's invaluable tips. I was killing myself looking for a "single" crank set.
Shimano Nexus Inter-8 rear hub For those of you not familiar, it is an internally geared 8 speed hub actuated by a "twist" shifter. The two big reasons I wanted to use this were for ease of use and lack of maintenance, probably in that order. Namely, you can shift while stopped and there is no derailleur to to get banged around in bike racks or on curbs and what-not.
I got the "premium" version. I'm not sure what that really gains me except for a small weight savings. If nothing else by making my wallet a few grams lighter. Oh yeah, and it has a nifty red stripe on it.
Nexus 8 twist shifter
Nexus Roller brake This is the big shiny thing on the rear that looks kind of like a disc brake, but its not, it is a cooling fin. I really wanted a gear hub with a disc brake but Shimano does not offer one in the US. Sturmey-Archer does, but it will not be available until July 6th. I've heard it is of good quality. But I'm an American through and through and I have to have everything RIGHT NOW!
Velocity Dyad (I think) Hoops I wanted 700c wheels, in all black (no braking surface), for disc brakes, with 36 holes. (try and find them) The back wheel had to be custom anyway, so I got a Deore disc hub and a bunch of spokes to go with the hoops.
Brooks B17 Standard Saddle Need I say more. (I didn't think so)
Rohloff chain Given to me by Joe. Thanks Joe.
Shimano Deore MTB Brake Levers http://bike.shimano.com/catalog/cycl...=1150760752567
Avid disc brake http://www.sram.com/en/avid/discbrak...llbearing7.php
Surly Karate Monkey Frame and Fork http://www.surlybikes.com/karatemonkey.html
From the great group of guys at Indy Cycle Specialists. I can't say enough good things about them, they have a great shop and a TON of things in stock.
I don't have bar tape yet and I have not added the rack or bottle cages. I'm enjoying its simplicity at the moment and I can't bring myself to clutter it up. I took it out for a ~15 mile shake-down run this weekend and it is bliss. The disc brake is awesome, the roller brake works fine and the gear hub is really a very nice thing to have for "urban" (read stop and go) riding.
The gear hub works well. It seems to like shifting into some gears better than others while pedaling (sp?) but it is still very new. I don't mean that it is difficult to shift, just that sometimes I have to let up just a little.
Well, without further ado ( and there is much more ado here than I intended) here are some pics:
I'm including this picture to show how I routed the shifter cable in case you want to build one. It allowed me to use same cable routing you would for a derailleur (which you can use on this bike).